At Elite we feel that all athletes (as well as non-athletes) need to be incorporating some form of unilateral training into their workouts and those who aren’t are unfortunately missing out!
First off, what is unilateral training?
Unilateral training is a style of training in which you are only working one limb at a time. In most traditional training movements we use both limbs concurrently to complete the task at hand. Easy examples to think about are the traditional barbell bench press (using both arms to press the weight) and the barbell back squat (using both legs to squat the weight). While these bilateral training movements are still very essential in making up a complete strength and conditioning program, athletes should be incorporating unilateral training movements as well.
So you why do athletes (as well as everyone else) need to incorporate unilateral training?
There are a variety of reasons (I go more in depth on these in the article).
- It has a very good carryover to athletic movements used in sports (this style of training has a high carryover to the athlete’s sport)
- Training one limb at a time forces the stabilizing joint muscles to work overtime. This in return strengths these stabilizing muscles, thus greatly reducing risk for injury (after all it’s a lot more fun to be on the field/court/mat competing rather than being sidelined with an injury).
- Unilateral training is a great way to strengthen and increase core stability (very underrated when it comes to developing athletes).
The article also goes into greater detail on how to incorporate unilateral training into an athlete’s training program as well as gives several examples of unilateral movements. So check out the article and get educated!